Stevenage-based GSK apprentice features in new government campaign

GSK's Hajra Bibi is part of the Government's new apprenticeship campaign, Fire it Up. Picture:M&C Sa

GSK's Hajra Bibi is part of the Government's new apprenticeship campaign, Fire it Up. Picture:M&C Saatchi - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage-based laboratory scientist apprentice is one of the faces of the government’s new campaign to promote apprenticeships.

Hajra Bibi has been working for GlaxoSmithKline for the past five years on a work-study apprenticeship, and has now appeared in the Fire it Up campaign which was launched on Thursday.

She was given the opportunity as one of the 25 Institute for Apprenticeships panel members, and she hopes it will make people think differently about the scheme.

“The aim for me really was to make people aware that apprenticeships exist at all levels and not just for manual roles,” said Hajra, who has been based at GSK’s Stevenage site in Gunnels Wood Road throughout her apprenticeship.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to always know that another route into a career is to do an apprenticeship.

“My advice to anyone considering their future would be – be open-minded, explore your options and follow your passion.”

In December last year, education secretary Damian Hinds called for Britain to drop its “snobby attitude” towards apprenticeships, after just 29 per cent of young apprentices reported that they pursued an apprenticeship following advice from their parents.

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Speaking about her choice, Hajra said: “Taking the apprenticeship route was a no-brainer for me as it would provide me with hands-on experience, a fully-funded degree in my chosen field of bioscience, and a competitive salary – all while working for GSK.

“Working at GSK has not only helped me learn new skills, but also enhanced my development as a person.

“I’ve gained more confidence in myself, know how to give presentations and talks and know how to build working relationships, so I feel that my time here has also allowed me to grow as an individual, too.”

About the opportunity to get hands-on experience, she added: “The aspect of my job that I enjoy most is certainly going into the lab and planning and conducting my experiments.

“Data received from my experiments is always exciting and challenging, especially when you get an unexpected result.

“Applying your findings to scientific knowledge further cements the theory with the practise.”

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